The Warriors have brought in veteran coach Brian Smith to a new role of general manager of football at the NRL club.

Smith has coached at numerous NRL and Super League clubs during a career spanning over three decades and recently acted as a coaching advisor to coach David Kidwell during the Kiwis' failed World Cup campaign.

The Warriors are creating the general manager of football role to oversee the entire football side of the business, including coaching, recruitment and development thus allowing the CEO Cameron George to focus on the business side of the club and coach Stephen Kearney to coaching the first grade side.

It is the latest move in a shake-up of the club's front office, which has seen George take over from Jim Doyle as chief executive and Tony Iro move from a recruitment role back into a coaching capacity.


George said he created the role because he felt he didn't have the specialist skills necessary to oversee that side of the business.

"I started in this role on 1 September and understood quickly the management needed for a successful football unit – I was going to be able to deliver on a personal level because my focus is needed elsewhere," he told the Herald.

"It was a priority for me, particularly on the back of the season we have had, to get some assistance and management into that area that was going to make Stephen Kearney focus better on coaching the side and to drive all aspects of the football side."

The 63-year-old Smith played 31 first grade games in the 1970s before embarking on a move to coaching with the Illawarra Steelers in 1984. He had the first of three stints in the UK in 1988 with Hull FC before returning to the NRL with a successful tenure as coach of the St George Dragons. He took the Dragons to successive Grand Finals in 1992 and 1993. He spent time with Bradford before returning to Australia to coach the Parramatta Eels – taking them to the 2001 Grand Final. Smith had a short time coaching Newcastle before taking over at the Roosters and leading them to his fourth Grand Final appearance in 2010 – the fourth time he had lost a decider.

More recently Smith has coached Wakefield Trinity in the Super League.

He brings a record of sustained success almost everywhere he has been and understands the growing demands on a coach at NRL level.

"I want to be effective and even innovative in all areas within football," Smith said. "I'm in involved in what is happening now, what's happening next and what happens after that. If you don't have all three of those balls in play then you are going to run into problems at some point. Stephen's role is to focus on one of those areas."

Smith has spoken in detail with Kearney over the last few weeks and has endorsed the World Cup winner as coach of the side and is looking forward to working with him heading into 2018.